Digital Desk Staff
Bank of Ireland customers at 88 branches across the country are using their local services for the last time today.
Some of these services will now be offered at post offices instead but it marks the latest step in an accelerated shift away from over-the-counter banking towards digital and online services.
As the Irish Examiner reports, Bank of Ireland announced its planned closure of the 88 branches around the country in March as part of the downsizing of its network.
More than 920 post offices are offering local banking services such as cash withdrawals and lodgements six days a week. An Post has operated a similar partnership with AIB for more than 20 years.
The new partnership also comes as a major boost to an under-pressure post office network suffering the similar fate of local bank branches –declining footfall.
Both Bank of Ireland and An Post confirmed all preparations necessary to facilitate the transfer have been taken and the services are now in operation.
An Post said it had no concerns about the additional demands placed on its office network and it has pursued the partnership for a number of years.
“We have been chasing this Bank of Ireland partnership for many years and it is very important additional business for us," said Debbie Byrne, managing director of An Post Retail.
An Post said the addition of Bank of Ireland branch services in its network is "extremely positive" as it "further enhances An Post’s position as the trusted provider of community banking in every community".
Bank of Ireland said it was aware that widescale changes such as the branch network closure could cause concern but it has communicated with customers throughout the process.
"When changes to our branch network were announced in March, we made a commitment to our customers that no branch would close until services were operational at An Post locations. I can confirm that these services are now available in 923 An Post locations around the country," a Bank of Ireland spokesperson said.
169 local Bank of Ireland branches will remain open.